6.3/10
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61 user 113 critic

My Friend Dahmer (2017)

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A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.

Director:

Marc Meyers

Writers:

Marc Meyers, John Backderf (based on the book My Friend Dahmer by) (as Derf Backderf)
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Popularity
1,965 ( 254)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zachary Davis Brown ... Freshman Boy (as Zac Brown)
Lily Kozub ... Freshman Girl
Ross Lynch ... Jeff Dahmer
Vincent Kartheiser ... Dr. Matthews
Alex Wolff ... John 'Derf' Backderf
Adam Kroloff Adam Kroloff ... Mr. Burlman
Anne Heche ... Joyce Dahmer
Brady M.K. Dunn Brady M.K. Dunn ... Bossy (as Brady Dunn)
Michael Ryan Boehm Michael Ryan Boehm ... Shorty (as Michael Ryan)
Dallas Roberts ... Lionel Dahmer
Liam Koeth ... Dave Dahmer
Tommy Nelson ... Neil
Harrison Holzer ... Mike
Cameron McKendry ... Moose
Jake Ingrassia Jake Ingrassia ... Gooch
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Storyline

A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the Acclaimed Graphic Novel


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

R for disturbing images, language, teen drug use, drinking and sexual content, and for brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Moj prijatelj Damer See more »

Filming Locations:

Cleveland, Ohio, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$35,545, 5 November 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,355,664, 25 February 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

My Friend Dahmer was filmed in Jeffery Dahmer's actual childhood home in Bath, Ohio. Revere High school he went to was going to be used for the movie as well, but the school rejected the offer. See more »

Goofs

When Jeff, his brother and mother (Joyce) arrive at the courthouse, the cameraman is momentarily reflected in Joyce's sunglasses. See more »

Quotes

Jeffrey Dahmer: I'm just like anybody else.
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Connections

References Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Lady Doubonette
Written by Nick Nicholis and Don Parkins
Performed by The Bizzarros
Courtesy of Clone Records
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User Reviews

 
Tonally brilliant, narratively weak
14 June 2018 | by BertautSee all my reviews

Taking place over the course of Jeffrey Dahmer's last year in high school, and culminating with the faithful meeting between Dahmer (Ross Lynch) and Steven Hicks (Dave Sorboro), writer/director Marc Meyers's My Friend Dahmer is based on the graphic novel by John Backderf (played in the film by Alex Wolff), who attended the same school as Dahmer, and formed a pseudo-friendship with him. The film is tonally brilliant, coming across like The Breakfast Club (1985) directed by David Fincher, perfectly capturing 80s tackiness. Narratively, however, it's extremely plodding, and could easily have been trimmed by 20 minutes.

It's also difficult to see what Meyers was trying to achieve; other than a couple of brief moments, we're never given any real access to Dahmer's interiority, so he remains an enigma, always at arm's length (which could have been the point). But is Meyers asking us to feel sympathy for Dahmer because he had a difficult adolescence, came from a broken home, couldn't make friends in school. Or is this simply a character study (if we didn't know it was about Dahmer, it could be any number of examinations of high school awkwardness)?

The lack of clarity regarding the film's theme is compounded by the scenes where it looks as if Dahmer is about to murder someone, only to stop at the last second. This is an especially strange way to generate tension, insofar as we already know his first murder was Hicks. Also, if the film is actually trying to say something of societal worth regarding serial killers, directionless youth, nature vs. nuture etc, trying to draw an audience into the narrative with the prospect of murder probably isn't the way to go about it. The film also fails to really get into the issues of Dahmer's sexuality, and his confusion and frustration about being gay. It's worth a look, but if you're already familiar with Dahmer's story, you won't find much insight here.

5/10


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